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  • Reason for pleural effusion?

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    Old 03-17-2007, 07:37 AM   #1
    dlr2007
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    Reason for pleural effusion?

    Hi everyone- I'm anxious about my husband's recent pleural effusion. It started with a mild respiratory illness, green plegm coming up in the morning but no real productive cough, feeling cold & lousy, stuffy, etc. Then came the severe chest pain (hubby's brilliant primary care doc said it was a muscle strain). 1st chest xray was clear except for small amount of fluid in bottom of right lung- 2 weeks later 2nd chest xray showed moderate pleural effusion. A 3rd chest xray a week later showed about the same, then an ultrasound also came back with "moderate pleural effusion". The next week we went to a pulmanologist who said it was pleurisy that caused the effusion and he could hear the fluid in hubby's lung by percussion. Two days later hubby went for a thoracentisis (draining) and after several pokes of the needle returned no fluid, they got an ultrasound machine which revealed not as much fluid as they thought. My hubby said the doc mentioned inflammation of the pleural membranes and that the fluid was in pockets. The doc was able to draw out a small sample of fluid for analysis. It was clear and a light yellow color, no blood or pus. The lung doc said from the beginning this doesn't seem like cancer even though hubby has a family history of cancer. Also my hubby is 53 and quit smoking 3 years ago. I know nobody can diagnose this over the internet, but has anyone had any experience with this? am I right to be encouraged by the reduction of fluid and it's normal appearance? Thanks for any advice! -Dee

    Last edited by dlr2007; 03-18-2007 at 04:52 AM. Reason: add detail; edit wording

     
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    Old 03-18-2007, 02:07 PM   #2
    dlr2007
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    Re: Reason for pleural effusion?

    Anybody...? I just want to know if anyone has had asimilar experience and how it turned out. Any words of encouragement, advice, ANYTHING at all to help me stop feeling so lost on this matter would be great. Thanks! -Dee

     
    Old 03-18-2007, 08:09 PM   #3
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    Re: Reason for pleural effusion?

    There are a lot of possible causes. Do an online search, ****pedia has a lot to offer.

     
    Old 03-20-2007, 02:56 PM   #4
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    Re: Reason for pleural effusion?

    I think pleural effusions could be caused by many reasons.
    I've read about people having them for no apparent reasons, because of cancer, because of infections, because of trauma....
    My husband had a massive one in the end of October. We thought it could be from a really bad fall he had, but in the process of trying to figure it out, it was discovered he had multiple nodules in both lungs, so the doctors think he has cancer. But he decided not to do biopies, so we are not sure (he is fine).
    They did try to take the fluid out with the needle at the doc's office and were not successful because it was loculated (instead of the fluid being in one bag, that bag had separating membranes, which could be a sign of severe inflamation). The little bit that came out was sent to analisis and came back clear for cancer and infection, but indicating severe inflamation.
    Anyhow, the effusion was almost gone in the last xray taken in the begining of January, which the doctors thought would be impossible to happen. The only treatment was Jin Shin Jyutsu (acupressure) and lotus tea, that you can find online or macrobiotic stores. It has to be the powder one.
    So I guess you have to continue to look for the cause....Sorry I couldn't be of much help, but I hope my husbands experience can bring you a little more information. Good luck.

     
    Old 03-21-2007, 08:02 AM   #5
    dlr2007
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    Re: Reason for pleural effusion?

    Hi Elbguim- Thank you for your reply. I read all about your husband's situation and my heart really goes out to you- what a lot of stress to deal with! In my opinion, it doesn't sound like your husband would be perfectly fine if he had cancer- doctors can be wrong, as we know. I also have no idea how they came to that conclusion with no biopsy- I hear all the time about multiple nodules that are benign.
    Well the same thing happened to my hubby when they went to drain the effusion. He showed a moderate pleural effusion in 2 Xrays and 1 ultrasound before, then they went to drain it and found it was not moderate in size, it was in pockets. They got a little fluid out, which was clear and light yellow(sorry if I'm repeating myself, I'm afraid to leave anything out) and we're waiting on the test results. It is really scary. The procedure was awful for my husband- they stuck him 11 times- and he went for a chest CT scan yesterday- they couldn't get a vein to put the contrast dye in, so that involves more needle sticks- and he said,do the CT w/out dye and no more- I'm done with tests. So either they give him medicine to help him or we're on our own. His pulmonary doc mentioned that if the inflammation doesn't go away he might need surgery to scrape the pleural membranes- hubby didn't like the sounds of that! I really need to learn more about what I can do at home to help him- I'm gonna read what you gave your hubby and see if I can get the same. I know you mentioned other therapy that you know how to do- that is great. To me knowledge is power, the 1st doc didn't have a clue what was wrong with my hubby, I had to figure out that he had pleurisy from reading about it. Well you and your husband will be in my prayers- thank you so much for writing back to me. I really admire your courage and the way you stay involved in your hubby's care- I do the same with mine even though sometimes I drive him nuts talking about medical stuff all the time! I will let you know how the results come back, and please keep me posted on how your husband is doing. -Dee

     
    Old 03-22-2007, 05:50 PM   #6
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    Re: Reason for pleural effusion?

    I'm sorry your husband had such a bad time with the needles... Besides the lotus root tea made from lotus powder and the acupressure, tell your husband to do deep breathing excercices, like forceful exhale through the nose, several times a day. And also to not sit around. The more he moves and the deeper he breathes, the better chances to not need any surgery to scrape out all the stuff that gels up when you have the effusion.
    I corresponded with a lady from England who's husband also had a fall and an effusion. His doctor told him to rest. Well, it seems he is still sick, more than 6 months later.
    Keep me posted on your progress and if you have any questions, I will be happy to help.

     
    Old 03-23-2007, 01:38 PM   #7
    dlr2007
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    Re: Reason for pleural effusion?

    Hi Eblguim- Thanks for the reply & advice. Sorry it took me a while to reply- my mother-in-law passed away early this morning so it's been pretty busy around here. My husband and I are finally home, after spening last nite at the nursing home and all today making funeral arrangements. He's being very strong- and actually, his pleurisy seems much better! You're right, moving about helps a lot. The more he lies around in bed, the more sore and out of breath he gets. I've been after him to do the deep breathing, but he is not very cooperative. I will go to a health food store and get that tea- hopefully he'll try it.
    So your friend's husband is still sick all this time later? I've heard pleurisy and plueral effusions really do hang on. It's strange cuz the pulmonary doc said it should be going away by now, but it had only been a month when we saw him. I guess it has started going away, or at least forming pockets. I wonder if they can tell the difference on X-ray. I know that when they use percussion, inflammation as well as effusion has a different sound than a regular clear lung. Well hopefully next Tuesday we'll get some good news on all this. I hope all is well with you and your hubby. Thanks so much for taking the time to write to me. Warm wishes, Dee

     
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